‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’ Ghidorah Has Three Heads and Three Actors

Godzilla: King of the Monsters, sequel to 2014’s Godzilla and 2017’s Kong: Skull Island, will be rated PG-13, thanks to “sequences of monster action violence and destruction, and for some language,” according to the MPAA description. (“I want this on my tombstone,” King of the Monsters director Mike Dougherty tweeted in response.) If the first trailer is any indication, the newest Godzilla will hew more toward Kong ’s non-stop monster mash than the restraint seen in the first Godzilla. Of course, just as in the previous two, King of the Monsters will feature CGI kaiju, rather than foam latex, but that doesn’t mean Dougherty will lose the human performance aspect entirely. Right in line with the rubber-bumping appeal of the original Godzilla movies, casting for Godzilla: King of the Monsters has revealed a surprising and hilarious aspect to the movie’s biggest, baddest monster and Godzilla’s ultimate enemy: King Ghidorah is played by three different actors, strapped together.

Alan Maxson, who has previous creature credits, including zombies and the “Gingerweed Man’s Mouth” from the Evil Bong series, will play the right head of King Ghidorah.

Richard Dorton, a veteran motion capture actor for dozens of video games like God of War and Evolve (“if you play video games, you’ve probably killed me,” Dorton says on his homepage), will play Ghidorah’s left head.

Jason Liles, who played George in Rampage, will be Ghidorah’s middle head (he is also the mo-cap performer for Rodan).


“I had three actors, basically tied together,” Dougherty told IGN, also describing how each of the three heads of Ghidorah would have a different personality and intelligence level.

Try to imagine three actors hitched together into a single thrashing, three-headed monstrosity. More than any other special feature in recent memory, I need to see what this motion capture performance looks like.

Ghidorah first appeared in the fifth Godzilla movie, 1964’s Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, as an ancient creature of prophecy. Ghidorah destroyed an alien civilization on Venus and hops a meteor to Earth to do the same to us. He has since returned in many forms, sometimes under the control of aliens, sometimes with a robotic head or clad in shimmering gold.

"I've loved monsters and creatures my entire life," Maxson told MLive. "I still collect hundreds of action figures from horror and sci-fi. I remember as a kid walking around, imitating and pretending to be Cornelius and Caesar from the original Planet of the Apes films."

The cast includes Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things), Ken Watanabe (Inception), Vera Farmiga (The Conjuring), Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights), Charles Dance (Game of Thrones), Sally Hawkins (Paddington), O’Shea Jackson Jr. (Straight Outta Compton), Anthony Ramos (She’s Gotta Have It), Thomas Middleditch (Silicon Valley) and Bradley Whitford (Get Out).

Godzilla: King of the Monsters will be in theaters May 31, 2019.

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